NACADA insists Shisha ban still on

12% of entertainment joints still selling shisha despite ban./COURTESY

Mombasa, KENYA: The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) through its Coast region manager has insisted the ban on shisha is still on.

Speaking to journalists in a stakeholder meeting on shisha ban held in Mombasa, Geoge Karisa maintained that the ban applies to everyone in the country with no exceptional cases.

“The ban is still on and it’s for the healthy benefits of us all and for our future generations too,” stated George Karisa, Coast Region NACADA manager.

“There are no special cases or occasion where some pubs, clubs or vendors are being licensed to privately sell shisha. The ban applies to everyone in the country irrespective of who you are,” insisted Karisa.

With the public participating openly in the stakeholders meeting held on Thursday many expressed dissatisfactions with then ban with others feeling the research conducted before the ban was poorly conducted, non-conclusive and better measures could be put into place to implement the ban

“Shisha smoking started in the ’90s and the government only came to know of its effect in 2017 to ban it. Yes, we support the ban but my question is what is the government doing to help those who have been smoking shisha before it was banned?” posed Zakaria Juneid a former shisha smoker.

In support of the ban, ReachOut Rehabilitation Centre Director who was also present at the forum explained it is important for the public to shun drug abuse welcoming those affected by shisha smoking to reach out to the Centre for counseling.

“We can’t identify shisha addicts by looking at one so what we advise is self-confession from the addicts so that we can help them and use our Centre as a stepping stone to shunning the addiction.”

Shisha smoking was banned in Kenya by Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu and took effect on December 28th 2017 making Kenya the fourth country to ban shisha after Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.

The ban on shisha enlists importing, manufacturing, selling, distributing, advertising or promoting the use of shisha as illegal in Kenya with those found defying the ban eligible for a penalty.